A lot of people have been asking us about Chinese Medicine treatments and Covid-19. As of now there has not been a lot of conclusive information as to the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine for this virus. However, during the SARS epidemic Traditional Chinese herbal medicine treatments were reported to successfully prevent and treat SARS. There was also a lot of success combining Chinese Medicine and western allopathic medicine.
There is currently a lot of research being done on Chinese Medicine treatments for Covid-19 but as of now they remain in progress and uncertain. Chinese herbs, however, are currently still widely being used in China at this time to prevent and treat Covid-19.
The commonly thought Chinese Medicine diagnosis for Covid-19 is damp heat stagnation in the lungs. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, diseases commonly first affect the lungs which are the body’s first line of defense.
Damp refers to diseases that have the potential to cause phlegm or water retention. In the case of Covid-19 this manifests as water in the lungs or pneumonia.
Phlegm can also clog the lungs causing cough, and shortness of breath.
Heat refers to the factors of hot, dry, and rising turbidity that can cause disease.
Stagnation refers to symptoms that have a tendency to congeal such as blood clots or phlegm that becomes congealed and sticky thick. Stagnation also usually causes pain.
As opposed to a cold or a flu that tends to stay in the lungs and upper respiratory system, Covid-19 has the ability to penetrate deep into the body’s layers of defenses and thus affect other systems such as the kidneys, heart, and blood.
At this point most of us are well aware of the advised precautions everyone needs to take to prevent acquiring and spreading Covid-19. We are all doing things such as washing or sanitizing our hands, wearing masks, wiping down groceries and surfaces etc. Chinese Medicine also has a few traditional methods for immunity and disease prevention.
In Chinese Medicine it is believed that the most vulnerable areas of the body in regards to immunity are the neck and low back. Of course, we all know that Covid-19 is a Coronavirus and enters the body through the respiratory system. However, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, by protecting the areas most vulnerable to wind, such as the neck and low back, we can fortify the immune system and make it harder for a pathogen to enter. This is why we commonly suggest wearing a scarf. A scarf may not be the most desire-able article of clothing during the summer months but it is still crucial to protect these areas for immunity.
A Few Summer Immunity Suggestions
#1 Protect your neck – Don’t stand under an a/c vent or allow the a/c to blow directly on your neck. Be cautious of wearing your hair (especially wet hair) tied up in a cold air conditioned room. Also folks with short hair should always take precautions to protect their necks from getting chilled. Don’t point a fan directly at your face or upper body while you are sleeping. Close any windows directly next to your head on colder nights while sleeping. Bring a light jacket out with you in the evenings to prevent from getting a chill. Wear longer hair down in the evenings.
#2 Protect your low back – Don’t wear cropped shirts at night or allow your low back to get chilled in an air conditioned room.
#3 Avoid sun burns – Sunburns can tax the body and thus lower our immunity making us more susceptible to illness.
#4 Make sure you are getting enough sleep – Sleep is a very important factor for immunity. If we do not get enough sleep our systems can easily get run down and vulnerable to pathogens. Another thing that taxes our bodies is when we stay up late partying or hanging out way past our normal bedtimes. Even though we may think we can “sleep it off” the next day, staying up too late lowers our immune systems.
#5 Watch your stress levels. We all know that stress is a killer. It also has a great affect on our immune systems. Please take care to keep your stress levels in check. Slow down and take time for self care when you feel your stress getting too high.
#6 Avoid drinking or smoking too much – Everything in moderation.
Chinese Herbs for Immunity
One of the most common Chinese Herbal formulas to help with immunity is called Yu Ping Feng Wan or Jade WindScreen. This formula focuses on fortifying the protective Qi of our bodies to prevent from getting sick. If you are someone who gets sick often, then this is probably a good formula for you. This formula is typically taken on an ongoing daily basis. Some suggest taking it at the opposite time of year to when you normally experience frequent illnesses. For example taking it during the summer months for increased winter immunity.
Another important formula is Gan Mao ling Jie Du Wan. This is a contemporary Chinese Herbal formula that has gained much popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness. This formula is taken primarily at the first sign of illness such as a scratchy throat or a chilled feeling. It contains many antiviral herbs and is extremely effective at stopping a common cold or flu from setting in. As a side note, although this formula contains many antiviral herbs, this is not the formula that we recommend for the Covid-19 virus.
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